The miraculous conception of Jesus in Mary’s womb and the virgin birth are essential portions of the Christmas narrative. Why was this manner of birth necessary for the baby Jesus?
Jesus was man incarnate- the perfect representation of the divine God, in human form. Now only God could work out the salvation of all men, as any redeeming work done by man would be good for only another man. However when God redeems, as all men are included in God and derive their origin from God, all men would benefit from His redeeming work.
The second facet of this concept is that God needed to be found in flesh as a man and identify with man’s sufferings to be able to adequately redeem him. Hence Jesus was found in flesh, and made his dwelling amongst us as an ordinary human being. While the world awaited a king, He came to us almost in disguise- tucked away from public eye in a manger, likely with animals, with no room for him to be born like most did in his time. Throughout his life, he owned no possessions, managed with bare necessities, depended on others for their hospitality and finally was buried in another man’s grave. But how long can you hide the Son of God? Though he was apparently not of much consequence outwardly, it is hard to imagine how each step of his would not have created an earthquake in the spiritual realm and how each word of his would not have been a thunderstorm unleashed! And so not surprisingly, that this inconsequential child created a movement unlike any other in human history, influencing nations and redeeming mankind.
Now the problem that God had in becoming incarnate was that man’s flesh was corrupted by Adam’s sin. The sinful nature entered into human existence when Adam and Eve sinned and their progeny- both male and female, inherited the sinful nature; in other words we all have the sinful nature written across the human DNA. If God were to be born as a union of the seed of man and woman as all men are, the sinful nature would be written on his DNA as well. And so the virgin birth became necessary.
On July 5th, 1996, was born Dolly, the first mammal to be cloned from a somatic adult cell. The process of cloning like in Dolly’s case is one where the egg cell’s nucleus and hence its DNA is removed and the DNA from an adult cell is injected into that egg, which is then stimulated to grow- the result is a clone of the adult cell, which has no specific features of the egg. The process of cloning is also found elsewhere in nature. Parthenogenesis is the process of unfertilized eggs being stimulated to grow to become embryos in the absence of sexual union.
The virgin birth is no different. Here by a miraculous union, the power of the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, the willing servant, and what was created in the womb of Mary, was an embryo, Jesus, whose nature was entirely that of God, without the corruption of sinful nature found in man. The nature of God condensed miraculously into human DNA uniting through the Spirit of God with the de-nucleated egg of Mary resulting in the virgin birth is at the heart of the Christmas story. There are no limitations with God, his ways are wonderful and worship is a natural sequel of the Christmas message.
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